Friday, July 29, 2016

The Venus Complex by Barbie Wilde

(pb; 2012. Cover painting by Daniele Serra.)

From the back cover:

"A man rises out of an abyss of frustration and rage and creates works of art out of destruction, goddesses out of mere dental hygienists and beauty out of death. It's also about the sickness and obsession that is love.

"Enter into Michael [Friday]'s world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexually explicit murder highlights his journey from zero to psycho."


Venus is an unsettling, wry and humanity-based-horror serial killer novel, one that details the emotional path of its clever protagonist, Michael Friday, as he evolves into an almost-relatable killer, trying to work his way into the affections of Elene Sheppard, a professor of psychology and profiler of serial killers.

This is a quiet-landmark work, one that builds upon Brett Eason Ellis' American Psycho (with better editing and better writing) while layering on its own distinctive personality and not-quite-psycho lead character, whose alchemy- and art-based sexual kills explicitly spell out his path to imagined love.  Venus, a sly, excellent (and not for the squeamish) book, is worth owning if you can stomach disturbing cultural insights, snuff scenes and smart-minded death.

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